Our Brother’s Keeper

September 26, 2010: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Preferential Option for the Poor is a basic principle of Catholic social teaching. It essentially underscores that we are our brother’s keeper, especially where it concerns the most vulnerable among us including unborn children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and terminally ill, and victims of injustice and oppression.  This responsibility is the focus of this past Sunday’s readings, especially Jesus’ message to the Pharisees (and us) in the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus.

Is material wealth a sin? In short, no. However, what we do with our prosperity matters greatly.  The second reading about “pursuing righteousness” is taken from . . . → Read More: Our Brother’s Keeper

It’s a Relationship Business

September 19, 2010: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The parable of The Dishonest Steward is a difficult one. However, although it is omitted from the short version of this past Sunday’s gospel reading, it has much to teach us about relationships.  Really?!  Doesn’t the dishonest steward just cozy up to his master’s debtors with more dishonesty?  Let’s take a look.

The Context. This parable has to be understood in the light of the Palestinian custom of stewards acting on behalf of their masters. It was common practice for such stewards to charge extra interest, which they would pocket themselves. When the steward in the parable had the debtors write new notes, these reflected only . . . → Read More: It’s a Relationship Business

They Know Not What They Do

September 12, 2010: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The daily Mass readings this past week urged us to conduct our affairs in a manner pleasing to God. In 1 Corinthians, St. Paul urged us to purge immorality from our lives (Mon.), deal justly with one another (Tue.), refrain from idolatry (Thu.), exercise discipline (Fri.), and respect the Eucharist (Sat.).  Given we often fall short at one time or another, how fitting it is to begin this week with an unmistakable reminder of God’s mercy!

The Lord relented in punishment (Exodus 32:14). While Moses was on Mount Sinai, conversing with God and retrieving the Ten Commandments, the Israelites ran amok under . . . → Read More: They Know Not What They Do

Three Critical Questions

September 5, 2010: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Who am I? Where am I?  Where am I going?  These three critical questions can be applied to the readings this past Sunday and can assist us as we apply the teachings in our daily lives throughout the week and beyond.

Who Am I? “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother…he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). What?! Okay, Jesus isn’t really encouraging us to hate our parents, but we do need to love them less (really a better translation than hate) than we love God. He is telling us that we need to . . . → Read More: Three Critical Questions

Allow Mother Church to Carry You

I am thirty-four years in age and until a year ago, other than the death of an extended elderly relative here and there, my life had been fairly free of traumatic events. The most traumatic, life-changing event in my life has been the sudden death of my father on September 30, 2009. While working in his yard on a beautiful day last fall, he was killed when part of a tree fell and landed on him. He died at the age of fifty-eight, and there hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t thought about him and longed to once again hear his fatherly voice and advice.

Shortly after my . . . → Read More: Allow Mother Church to Carry You